President Trump continues to be frustrated with his senior staff, and the president is actively seeking replacements for some on his senior team.
Calls were placed Wednesday night to Trump allies – not by the president – but by White House officials, in order to gauge interest in working in the White House. However, nothing firm has been offered, and no decisions on dismissals appear to have been made.
The president may be looking to those who worked for his campaign, since he would have some sense of their loyalty and work abilities. Some names that might be considered include former campaign manager, deputy campaign manager , and Tom Barrack, head of the president's inauguration committee.
Another name mentioned, though it would complicate diplomatic efforts, is Bill Haggerty, currently the ambassador-designate to Japan. Haggerty's Senate confirmation hearing took place Thursday morning.
At this point, though, it is unclear if any of these individuals have been offered anything specific or if any would be willing to join the West Wing team.
On Monday, there was a significant episode at the White House, when the president dressed down his communications team and was very critical of his press staff. He places the blame for bad press and stories critical of him largely on them.
The overwhelming sense here is that the president's team is trying to hold things together for his first foreign trip but that significant changes in senior staff could come as early as June – after the president's return. Possibly, chief of staffis in jeopardy because of the president's frustration with his approach to managing White House staff. Many have told me there is no genuine management at all. He's also the person who built the White House communications team Mr. Trump now dislikes.
Even sources who were generally forgiving of Priebus in the early days of the administration are now critical, complaining that rivalries and fiefdoms are getting in the way of decision-making and planning. The complaint has always been that Priebus was not tough enough and demanding enough to enforce discipline. That complaint is now louder and more prevalent among those in and around the administrations than it has been at any time.